Our project will involve a wide range of young people through events and activities, training opportunities, research, volunteer placements, social media and many more new and innovative ways to help them explore heritage through our collections. We will be collaborating and consulting with young people and working with a range of additional partners and organisations, from across Scotland. Our original consortium partners on Scotland 365 are Young Scot, Project Scotland and Impact Arts.
Making museums relevant to the next generation has never been more important. We are very grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting this project through their Kick the Dust programme, which will run until March 2022.
From the beginning of the project we have spent time gathering views and insights from young people across Scotland through research and nationwide consultation about what heritage means to a young person living in Scotland today and the motivations or barriers to visiting museums.
The question "What does heritage mean to you?" inspired lots of answers from our respondents. For example, out of our 500 respondents around 40% want to learn something new and want museums to bring heritage to life.
Now we would like to find solutions with young people for transforming our engagement methods and exploring how we do this!
We paused the project for a few months due to Covid19 but we are excited to announce that we will now be recruiting for our brand new volunteer Scotland 365 Youth Engagement Team of young people to work with us across 2021 and 2022 to deliver a number of activities with and for young people.
In partnership with Young Scot Hive (YS), we are looking for up to 25 young people from across Scotland, with different experiences, cultures and communities.
The Scotland 365 Youth Engagement Team will work with NMS staff on a series of projects including improving visitor experiences, developing creative digital projects and collections, creating marketing campaigns and events, engaging with other organisations in the sector, and developing a Youth Engagement Strategy.
To find out more and apply to be part of our Scotland 365 Youth Engagement Team you can find guidance and application details on the Young Scot website.
Due to the limited access to the museum we are currently not offering volunteer placements and reviewing how we might do this over 2021. We will keep you updated on developments.
Our project seeks to work with a range of partners to ensure that the delivery of our youth focused programmes are reaching a diverse group of young people and to ensure the project has a long lasting impact that transforms our approach to youth engagement.
So far, with the assistance of our consortium partners, we have delivered workshops, summer residencies, staff training on understanding intergenerational differences, consultation with young people across Scotland and devising a youth work placement scheme to create opportunities for a diverse group of young people to experience placements in the museum.
"Thank you for the laughs, the ideas, the inspiration, and the motivation you gave me over the past few weeks. I really enjoyed myself. Thank you!" ('Jamie', participant)
As part of Scotland 365, National Museums Scotland ran two summer residencies and delivered a programme of workshops across different Local Authorities in partnership with Impact Arts across 2018 - 2020. The Scotland 365 project was match funded by Cashback to Communities; a programme targeting young people experiencing disadvantage. This partnership has enabled the delivery and support of up to 520 young people to work intensely with an amazing team of artists, musicians and performers as part of free creative workshops. The sessions delivered by Impact Arts focused on exploring different heritage themes through our collections and exhibitions, and giving participants the opportunity to creatively respond to what they discovered.
We had up to 167 young people attend a summer programme of activity delivered across four Local Authority areas including Edinburgh (based at National Museums Scotland), Glasgow (based at Kelvin College), Renfrewshire (based at the Tannahill Centre) and East Ayrshire (based at the YMCA Kilmarnock).
During the course of the programme the groups each had an opportunity to have free access to the acclaimed exhibition on Scottish pop music, Rip it Up for inspiration to develop their own creative responses to the some of the museum’s collections.
A showcase took place in July 2018 at Paisley Abbey where over 100 young people from across the country showcased their work to an invited audience of friends, family and guests. We also held an exhibition of the work at National Museums Scotland where staff could engage with the work developed by the groups.
In 2019 a summer programme, running in Edinburgh, Glasgow, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, was delivered to amplify the creative voices of disadvantaged young people. Workshops ran across the month of July in 2019 and culminated in an electrifying national showcase at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow.
This exciting summer programme of youth-led workshops offered free, safe creative spaces for young people to explore their creative potential while working alongside professional actors, digital and visual artists, musicians and performers.
Over the month young people from across the five residencies visited Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland at National Museums Scotland to get inspiration for their work. A sharing event here at National Museums Scotland on Wednesday 24th July 2019 showcased an impressive range of high-quality visual arts, digital art, new theatre and live music all created by the young people on the programme. This included an 8 foot tall pheasant perusing the Highland landscape paintings and interacting with visitors in the exhibition!
"In terms of wider impact the project had great ideas coming from the young people to think and discuss what they want for their future. This is, discussing architecture, traditions and parts of the culture they like, agree or want to change. This creates impact in the long term in a social aspect summed to the increased confidence, problem solving skills and communication/ social skills during the workshops", Jose Carlos, lead tutor, Impact Arts.
A programme of workshops in each of the highlighted local authorities was delivered as an aftercare programme following each of the summer residencies. These were also delivered as part of Impact Arts Cashback programme, and primarily acted as a way to support young people who had previously participated to continue their engagement in arts and heritage facilitated sessions, as well as recruit new young people on to the programme.
The young people engaged in a number of heritage focused themes including:
Thanks also to the Scottish Government Cashback for Communities fund for supporting this programme.
So far, we have worked with Project Scotland to deliver bespoke staff training around youth engagement with heritage, exploring ways to engage them with our organisation, collections and activities. We will continue to deliver further training based on the needs of young people and staff engaged in our projects across the rest of the project.